Friday, 3 August 2012


I have been experimenting by trying to grow pumpkins and such on the edge of the old horse manure heap. I have fended off the slugs and snails with flowerpots, bottoms removed, upturned and banded with copper tape. The plants are growing, very slowly as we have had no sunshine or warmth (till a little 20C yesterday)(rained again last night) but I have succeeded in getting a pumpkin to set. The only trouble is that it is the size of a kumquat!

The raspberries are over except for a few and the birds will have those. We are eating turnips and broad beans and are swamped by black currants.
I have frozen them, jammed them, made cassis (yum!), bartered them (for eggs) and given them to friends.
Not got to jelly yet but that is a bit of a palaver. I would have rather had red currant jelly but the birds got to the fruit first.
Rhubarb still doing well with the rain, leeks look great and we have sweet peas at last.
Took some to my hippy sister in Kendal yesterday and used some in the flowers we did for my son and his now wife's wedding a week ago.

I am gearing myself up to one of my favourite pastimes - digging out ditches - it has to be done but I will be covered in mud and wet and tired by the end of it - perhaps tomorrow.
Down by the pond the irises are over but their leaf blades contrast well with the rambling mimulus and watercress - in fact watercress everywhere clogging up streams and ponds. Beside the pond the loosetrife is flowering - the deep pink wild purple one, the pale version and the yellow by the hedge.

I have begun to chop back the alchemilla before it seeds everywhere - it does this far too freely.

I keep telling the swallows nesting under the covered area outside the kitchen door that they do not need to fly from the nest every time I walk out. Clearly they do not speak English. The same cannot be said for the grey squirrels - it only takes a stentorian, "I can see you," from me and they are off up the trees.

I have tidied my shed, a little, and found three containers full of engine oil, three for cleaning car upholstery, and now have some space - had actually, as it now has a large television stand occupying a disproportionate area of floor - from my son - can you just store it for me, I will put it on ebay.

We have three sheds - one for the water tank from the borehole where I keep hosepipes and stuff, one with mowers and flowerpots and a bench and one with a small mower and more of my two sons' 'stuff'. Down by the pond we also have a Wendy House - well a shed where my wife writes. We needed more space and putting in this insulated shed was the cheapest option. There is a small area of decking between it and the stream - a sun trap - if we ever get to see the sun again.

It is not raining.
I have to go out in the garden to justify doing little for the rest of the day.
I think I will walk up into the wood where sudden sunlight has lit up the long grasses.

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